Dogwatch – March 2019

Dogwatch Good Old Boat's Digital SupplementDogwatch (n): For sailors, either of the 2-hour watch periods between 1600 and 2000;

For journalists, the period after going to press when staff stand by in case breaking news warrants a late edition.

Volume 2, No.5

 


Easy Trip to Key West

Easy Trip to Key West

We tend to forget how much GPS, accurate weather forecasting, and modern hull, sail, and communications technologies have improved our ability to get around faster and more safely on the ocean. Oh, and the wisdom that comes to most of us as we leave our 20s behind . . .

In 1974, Judy and I took a sabbatical from work for as long as our savings would last. We left our jobs in Dallas, sold most of our possessions, and began exploring Mexico by train and bus. We were staying on the beach (in hammocks under the palms) on the tiny island of Isla Mujeres when we heard of a young fellow named Troy who was looking for crew to help him sail a boat from Cozumel to Key West, Florida. I’d been sailing most of my life and, as our savings were getting thin, this sounded like a fun and inexpensive way to return to the States after our adventure.

Continue Reading


News from the Helm Mail Buoy

News from the Helm

Across the bar: Margaret Roth and Don Green, BWI awards for Good Old Boat writers, Y2K again, and earn a free Good Old Boat cap.   Continue reading …

Mail Buoy

PFD depiction, sensible low-tech docking, hobo stove revisited, praise for Payne, and readers weigh in on sailboat renting vs. owning.   Continue reading


Seaworthy Goods Holiday Specials on Good Old Boat gear

Put it to the Readers

By Michael Robertson

Department of Corrections: Ahoy! We screwed up, letting a bad link go out last month in this column. Many thanks to the many readers who let us know that the correct URL for the boat-sharing company is boatsetter.com.

winter coverAnd back to our regular programming –

Food tastes better aboard a sailboat, always, right? I don’t care whether it’s an apple, Cheetos (is that food?), or homemade lasagna. And I’ve always known that the reason for this is the salty air. At least, I’ve always known this until Good Old Boat founder Karen Larson spoiled my theory by asserting that food tastes better to her aboard a sailboat in the same way it does me, but she’s a freshwater sailor — no salty air. And I’ve never sailed in freshwater—except 24 hours in Panama’s Lake Gatun, as part of transiting the Canal two decades ago—so I can’t really say that food doesn’t taste better when freshwater sailing.

And so I put it to the readers: Does food always taste better aboard (excepting when you’re experiencing mal de mer)? And why? Is it the salty air, or is Karen right and that’s not it? Or is food, food, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re eating at the kitchen table, in the cockpit, or in the car?

As always, I’m at michael_r@goodoldboat.com


Book Reviews

A Drop n the OceanClick the book title for our reviews of the following books:

Dick Carter: Yacht Designer in the Golden Age of Offshore Racing
by Dick Carter and John Rousmaniere
(Seapoint Books, 2018; 192 pages;
$29.95 print)
Review by Rob Mazza

 

The Accidental Captain: the Hilarious True-Life Adventures Of the Nerd Who Learned To Sail Across the Atlantic – Eventually
by Glenn Patron
(self-published, 2016; 257 pages, soft cover)
Review by Wayne Gagnon


Poem of the Month

Poem March 2019
The author wrote that this poem is an attempt to contrast “my first youthful attempts to actively chase (or pry!) experiences from nature (which doesn’t work), with my later (more mature) approach, of simply going forth and becoming open to experiences at hand, hoping that maybe then Nature and the Sea will reveal things. Maybe.”

I went to the Sea pursuing her nature,
my own was concealed.
I chased her secrets,
only mine did she howl in gales.

She gave test without lesson,
punishment without warning.
The Sea owed me nothing,
and nothing at all!

I went to the Sea asking her nature,
my own she revealed.
She gave reward without end,
beauty without margin.

I awaited her secrets.
she whispered them whole,
without bound. Though still,
the Sea owed me nothing,
and nothing at all!

D. Gene Hoffman, who sails a 1979 Shannon 28 cutter out of Deale, MD. He says that the combination of her curves and her teak make his heart go potato-potato-potato.

MR


Sailor of the Month

Sailor of the Month - Noah

Nine-year-old Noah (he’s since turned 10) is our Dogwatch Sailor of the Month. Noah sails regularly on his grandfather’s Bristol 41.1, Boundless, on Chesapeake Bay. He also sails his own 15-foot Galiliee on the James river. “Noah knows how to steer, dock, and navigate. He’s expert on the chart plotter, knows how to make the various kinds of emergency calls, and stays cool, calm, and collected. He’s helpful crew in high-wind situations.” It’s clear to us from this photo that Noah is a tough-as-nails seaman.

–MR


Cover issue 124 Jan/Feb 2019

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©2019 Good Old Boat Magazine

Easy Trip to Key West

By David Sharp

We tend to forget how much GPS, accurate weather forecasting, and modern hull, sail, and communications technologies have improved our ability to get around faster and more safely on the ocean. Oh, and the wisdom that comes to most of us as we leave our 20s behind . . .

In 1974, Judy and I took a sabbatical from work for as long as our savings would last. We left our jobs in Dallas, sold most of our possessions, and began exploring Mexico by train and bus. We were staying on the beach (in hammocks under the palms) on the tiny island of Isla Mujeres when we heard of a young fellow named Troy who was looking for crew to help him sail a boat from Cozumel to Key West, Florida. I’d been sailing most of my life and, as our savings were getting thin, this sounded like a fun and inexpensive way to return to the States after our adventure.

Continue reading

News from the Helm – March 2019

Across the Bar, Margaret Roth (1922-2019)

Margaret Roth died February 25 in Easton, Maryland. She was the legendary sailing first mate aboard several boats she and her husband, the late Hal Roth, cruised extensively over the years. Hal was a writer who chronicled their adventures in books that still retain a prominent place in any collection of noteworthy sailing literature.

Margaret came to the US from Paris in 1958 and soon met Hal. When they married in 1960, neither knew how to sail, but after sailing with friends on San Francisco Bay, they were hooked. They soon bought their first sailboat, a 36-foot steel sloop.

In 1965, they bought a Spencer 35 and named it Whisper. A year later, they took off to circumnavigate the Pacific. When they returned, the Cruising Club of America awarded them the Blue Water Medal. Hal wrote about their voyage and Margaret typed and edited. Out of this effort was born Two on a Big Ocean, a sailing classic published in 1978.

In 1977, the couple cast off again in Whisper, this time heading south. They were shipwrecked near Cape Horn, rescued after 9 days, and eventually repaired Whisper (she was holed) and continued, up the east coast of the Americas up to Maine. From this adventure, Two Against Cape Horn was published, another bestseller.

A subsequent four-year circumnavigation yielded Always a Distant Anchorage. More books and adventures and awards followed. And through it all, their accomplishments were joint; even when Hal competed in the solo BOC Challenge, Margaret was his indefatigable ground support.

Following is a portion of her obituary as published in The Star Democrat of Easton, Maryland 

“Margaret’s wit, grit, determination and tolerance for discomfort and danger were truly legendary and the characteristics of the perfect first mate. In a passage from Two on a Big OceanWhisper took a hit from a tremendous wave that crashed over the boat and roared into the cockpit. Hal wrote, ‘Margaret with two safety lines around her, was in the cockpit steering. She suddenly found herself up to her armpits in a bathtub of water only 20 degrees above the freezing point. I saw her sputtering and blowing. She calmly began to take off her clothes and to wring them out. It’s your turn to steer,’ she said gamely. ‘I’ve had my bath for today.’”


Across the Bar, Don Green (1932-2019)

Donald M. Green, one of Canada’s most successful offshore sailors and a key figure in its America’s Cup campaigns of the 1980s, has died at the age of 86. He was inducted into the Canadian Sailing Hall of Fame just last August. In 1978, Don won Canada’s Cup with his racing yacht, Evergreen. In 1980, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada, the nation’s most significant civilian honor.

Don grew up sailing and, as a teen, he sailed around the world on Irving Johnson’s 96-foot brigantine Yankee, closing the loop in 1951. In the mid-1970s, Don approached C&C Yachts with the plan to have them design and build a boat he could use to mount a challenge (through the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club) for the 1978 Canada’s Cup. C&C jumped aboard and their young design team led by Rob Ball, and including Steve Killing and Good Old Boat’s own Rob Mazza, designed Evergreen, an IOR Two Tonner of a radical design, with a gybing daggerboard and tiller steering. Don recruited Lowell North to provide sails and to join the crew. The rest of the crew were mainly club sailors from Hamilton, and included a teenager. Don was not just the owner but also the skipper and helmsman, which was very unusual at this level of racing). Evergreen was victorious.

Don next campaigned Evergreen in the notorious 1979 Fastnet Race, in which 15 sailors died. Evergreen did not finish the race, but Don brought her safely back to port with all crew alive and well.

During the 1980s, Don was a part of two Canadian campaigns challenging the America’s Cup, first in 1983, then in 1987


The Dogwatch/Good Old Boat Excellence!

Boating Writers International (BWI) held its annual awards presentation for writers in mid-February and two Good Old Boat magazine and The Dogwatch writers were recognized! Actually, recognized isn’t really the right term as Craig Moodie won FIRST PLACE in the Boating Lifestyles category for his story, “Floating Time.” That’s a $500 prize for Craig. Read it now, on our website: audioseastories.com/floating-time/

And Good Old Boat Contributing Editor Ed Zacko was awarded two Certificates of Merit, one for “Rata of Seville” (Boating Adventures category) and one for “Battling with Ball Valves” (Boat Projects category). These Certificates mean that Ed’s articles were within very narrow margins of the 3rd-place finishers.

Hat’s off to these award-winning Good Old Boat writers!


Y2K All Over Again

Apparently, GPS units and the satellites they receive from, store date info in a funny way. No, not funny ha-ha.

As reported by Ben Stein on the excellent panbo.com website, “The original specification for GPS had dates stored by week in a 10-bit field (2^10 or 2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2) which is 1,024 weeks. 1,024 weeks is 19 years, 36 weeks. Dates for the GPS constellation start at midnight on January 5, 1980, so the first rollover occurred on August 21, 1999. Now, 19 years and 36 weeks later, the same thing will happen again on April 6, 2019.”

So what?

So, some older GPS units may not be able to handle the date rollover, which is coming up quickly. Especially if you have older equipment, you’d be wise to check your unit sometime after April 6 to make sure it’s accurate, before you rely on it.

For specific info, check out the website of the manufacturer of your GPS device.


WANT TO EARN A GOOD OLD BOAT HAT?

Khaki ball cap with a Blue Denim bill.Do you have a great photo of an aid to navigation? We want to see it. If we print it in the magazine, we’ll send you a Good Old Boat hat or shirt, your choice. And it doesn’t have to be a buoy, but certainly can be. The better the photo, or the more unique the aid or photo, the better your chances. Send your photo to Michael_r@goodoldboat.com


CONTINUE READING THIS MONTH’S DOGWATCH

Mail Buoy – March 2019

THUMBS UP FOR SHOWING PFD USE

Glad to see you’ve got a photo of a kid with a PFD on. Last year’s discussion on this topic was unnerving for me, and I was quite disappointed that some on your end defended the use of photos showing children without them.

–Rob Hill, Westport, Massachusetts

Hi Rob, we featured two photos of kids wearing PFDs in the February issue of The Dogwatch. At the risk of unnerving you again, this was not by design, but by chance. While we know that some kids (and adults) should be in life vests 100 percent of the time in some situations (the photo above is a pretty good example of such a situation, given the age of the kid and the absence of lifeline netting), our editorial policy is to not be absolute about it, but consider photos on a case-by-case basis. We’re happy to promote the wearing of PFDs (for kids and adults), but there are situations where a kid is okay not wearing a PFD aboard. There are too many factors to make an edict (factors including swimming ability of kid, conditions, water temperature, boat size). We would balk at publishing a photo of a kid who appeared to be recklessly unprotected, but we’re not going to say “no photos of kids not wearing PFDs.”  Eds.


DOCKING SENSE

I read your tongue-in-cheek mention of Raymarine’s newest product, DockSense, in the February issue of The Dogwatch. I singlehand my five-ton, high-freeboard Nonsuch 26 sailboat in and out of a crosswind slip. There’s major downwind drift if I go in too slow, too much momentum if I go in fast enough for the keel to bite, and a firm guarantee that the stern will pull 45 degrees hard to starboard if I put too much thrust in reverse. Accordingly, I have the dings to prove that Raymarine is right; docking mishaps happen even to experienced sailors. But considering what Raymarine’s solution probably costs, I’d still save money by just buying a duplicate boat, putting it in a slip facing a different direction, and sailing whichever one has the more favorable wind that day.

Ironically, your mention of Raymarine’s solution arrived just as I completed my solution (see photo). What you’re looking at is an 8-foot piece of scrap wood to which I screwed three rows of 1.5-inch fire hose scalloped into wave patterns. I used 48 feet of fire hose out of a 95-foot roll that I bought at RepurposedMaterialsInc.com/ for $60, shipping included. I used 98 1-inch hex-head screws out of a $9.75 pack of 100 from boltdropper.com. Total cost: about $50. Of course, this doesn’t include the value of my time and labor. If I add that in, the total comes to about . . . $50. (I’m retired.)

My plan is to just let the boat hit the bumper as I come in, then slide along it. My expectation is that the fire hose will provide both cushioning and low-friction sliding and won’t gouge the hull. I have high hopes.

Bob Neches

Bob, nice work. We’ll add that we’ve twice picked up used fire hose for free (to use aboard as chafe protection, mostly on anchor rode snubbers). In both cases, we could have taken all we wanted. Next time you’re ready for more, just visit a local fire station. We were successful at two California stations: the Woodacre Fire Station in Marin County and the Camarillo Airport Fire Station.  Eds.


ONE MORE SHOUTOUT TO THE DIY BOATYARD

I just read “In Praise of the DIY Boatyard,” (The Dogwatch, February 2018). Attention DIY boaters in Southern California: I bought a classic plastic Catalina 30, Silhouette, last summer and I needed a place to put her where I could pull the dead gas motor and install an electric motor. Easier said than done. Private marinas don’t like noisy repair work and the few boatyards still open are expensive. But I prevailed. If you’re in the Wilmington/Long Beach area, contact Steve Curren at Long Beach Yacht Center (cayachtco.com/). He rents slips by the month and allows DIY boat owners like me to make repairs while the boat’s in the water.

Doug Mears


HOBO STOVE 2.0

I wanted to share an update I’ve made to the hobo stove. Instead of holes on the bottom to allow fresh air to enter and fuel a solid-fuel fire, here I’ve left the bottom sealed. I pour stove alcohol into the can, light it, and allow it to burn a few moments before I set a pan on the can for cooking. I have only played with this version, but I see it as a viable (and cleaner) camp/cookout burner.

–Jim Shell, Good Old Boat contributor

Readers, to revisit the article describing Jim’s handy cooker (great for outdoor marina potlucks or shoreside cooking while at anchor), use this link: audioseastories.com/shoreside-cooking-hack/  Eds.


PRAISE FOR PAYNE

Wedding VowsI just received the latest edition of The Dogwatch and aside from everything else, I want to commend the cartoonist who drew the boat-wedding graphic. Well done indeed. Who is the talented individual? Do they have a website of their work?

–John Gilbert, Cone From Away, a 1979 Aloha 28, Owen Sound, Ontario

Tom Payne is the talented illustrator (and we were remiss in not making that credit clear, as we usually do in the print magazine). Tom’s great and has worked with Good Old Boat for many years. He’s also worked with SAIL and others. But that work is just a footnote in his extensive portfolio of clients. To learn more about Tom and his work, check out payneillustration.com. I’ll note that for this piece, we simply sent Tom instructions along the lines of “We need a female captain officiating a wedding on the deck of a good old boat.” We particularly love the tear from the older woman on deck, and the ring bearer in a life vest. Check out the March issue of Good Old Boat for more of Tom’s work, and also visit Tom’s comic site: sandsharkbeach.comEds.


AIRBNB FOR SAILBOATS?

Last month I put it to the readers about boat-sharing services. I asked whether any of you had used these services and whether you thought millenials would go the path of renting sailboats vs. owning sailboats. Will this model take-off and result in more people out on the water, people who want to sail but who don’t want to own a sailboat?

Reader Isaiah Laderman made the consensus point in the last sentence of his response. He did it so clearly and succinctly, with a perfect metaphor, that he gets the first word . . . Eds.

***

My parents rented a dinghy when I was pre-teen. I doubt I would be a sailor today if they hadn’t. But I think the liability of injury, and likelihood of dissent over breakage and wear-and-tear, should give private lessors pause. Also, simply sailing a boat misses the spectrum of experience of owning and maintaining boats, which is surely the more important part. Just as having kids is more important than talking to one occasionally.

Isaiah Laderman, Molto Tortissimo, a Sea Sprite 23

Interesting question on the increasing ways of getting out on a sailboat. I doubt that I would ever give up the “luxury” of boat ownership, but then I probably spend far more time aboard than the average coastal sailor. For me, it’s not only about being out on the water, but also about performing routine maintenance in port. For the years I was between boats, I traded sailing time for maintenance work on a variety of sailboats. Although the sailing and the destinations were the same, the pride of ownership wasn’t there and I missed the comfort of knowing every nuance of the boat. I’ve long been of the mind that being on the water should be an experience of independence, an experience grounded in a very limited expectation of outside assistance. Sailing an unknown boat increases the likelihood that I will be dependent on those resources.

In our part of the world, charter companies are generally reputable organizations with modern well-maintained boats. There are also boat owners that charter their personal boats. Some are good, some not so good. The introduction of an Airbnb-style marine industry would certainly widen choices for those seeking adventure on the water. However, the quality of the boat and knowledge/experience of the skipper would, in my opinion, require significant regulation to prevent chaos on the water during peak season. Unfortunately, such an industry would not do well under self-regulation, the quest for profit would outweigh responsible boat usage. A visit to a local boat repair facility demonstrates that even local boat owners have difficulty staying away from rocks and shoals in our turbulent currents. It’s one thing to “rent” a boat in a small, local lake; quite another to be out on the ocean dealing with tides, currents, and large commercial traffic. Insurance for our boat has gone up significantly this year, apparently due to ever-increasing claims. That can only get worse with the introduction of more ad-hoc charter facilities. I want more people to enjoy the freedom of being out on the water, particularly young people, but that freedom requires knowledge and responsibility. Somehow, I don’t think an Airbnb-style marine industry is the safest or the most responsible way of accomplishing this.

Bert Vermeer, Natasha, Sidney BC

At the American International Yacht Club Berlin, there were about 35 boats we could rent. Costs ranged from 50 cents an hour for a dinghy, to a dollar for Solings, Dragons, and others. It was an inexpensive way to go sailing and served me well until I was able to buy my own boat. The boats were maintained by the harbor staff, but those who took them out were sometimes less careful of them than if they were their own property.

Hal Shanafield, Hjalmar III, Pearson 32

I’m not certain which is the more likely forecast, that emerging generations will rent rather than own and therefore the rental market will boom, or that the number of people who know how to sail will shrink and bring down both the ownership and rental markets.

–Sam Goldblatt

I want to know my boat. I want to know how the radio works, where the PFDs are, whether the rigging is intact and durable, how to manage the engine, where the tools are, how to turn the lights on, where the horn is, where the through-hulls are located, and how the boat reacts to winds, seas, and my actions in steering and sail trimming. If I need an extra clevis pin, where are they (and are they there?). If I think it’s time to don a harness, where is it, and its tether? If I need to drop anchor right now, is it secured to the rode? (Don’t laugh, this is the voice of sad experience speaking).

My point is that boats are like underwear; they’re not easy to share successfully. It’s fun to sail on other people’s boats, but it’s not the same as sailing on my own. I always feel like a neophyte on other people’s boats. “Get the boathook!” and I think, gee where is it? “Turn on the spreader lights!” Darn, where’s that panel? “Ease the topping lift!” @#$*!!!, which cleat is it belayed on? On my boats, I know where things are. I know how the boat behaves. I know what can be relied on, what’s shaky, and what’s not working.

And for a guy who’s not generally obsessed with order, my boats are the places where everything has its place. Important stuff is where it’s supposed to be, and I never need to conduct a search to locate it. In fact, finding stuff is a big headache when sailing as crew aboard a local historic schooner. Knowing what stuff is aboard that boat, and where that stuff is, is a constant challenge because everybody decides where to leave the wrench or the seizing twine.

Maybe if I went sailing as infrequently as I go bowling, renting or sharing would make sense. But I sail a lot and I’d rather not face a steep learning curve each time.

Besides, my boats are my old friends. I’ve sailed one for 51 seasons so far and another for 20. I’ve spent many hours working on each boat and that makes for a sort of investment that goes beyond dollars.

Chris Campbell, Traverse City, Michigan

My sailing mentor, who resides in Virginia, lives by the philosophy, “If it floats or flies, rent it.” While he and I, who are both in our mid-70s, along with our better halves, have spent many a happy hour on bareboat charters in the Caribbean, I reside on the Left Coast, where it is possible to sail every month of the year. I prefer to own my sailboat, which presently is the 1980 Newport 30, Erewhon, a good old boat of Gary Mull design from the mid-70s. Not only has she provided a near-perfect venue for maritime outings throughout the San Francisco Bay area with family and friends over the past three years that we’ve owned her, she is also the perfect man cave, the place to hang out when I need relief from the madding crowd. I think the best sail plan for me is to sail my own boat locally and rent when I wish to explore distant waters that can best be reached at 550 mph in a jetliner.

Bill Crowley, Glen Cove Marina, Vallejo, California

[In weighing and considering the monetary cost of boat ownership to make] a judgment in this regard, do not count only the hours you are sailing your boat, include the hours that you spend thinking of your boat.

–John Davies

John, great point, and it reminds us of Don Davies’ (we presume no relation) great article, “The Cost of Sailing,” that was published in the June 2018 issue of The Dogwatch. For anyone who missed it the first time: https://audioseastories.com/fs_cost_june18/  –Eds

My wife and I are the sort-of in-between generation, not fitting in with genX and just at the beginning of the generally-accepted range for millennials. We started off buying boatloads (hah) of music CDs and purchased our movies and video games on DVDs. We own our home and ground-based transportation. Over the past 15 years or so, we migrated first to buying music through services like iTunes, and now generally consume our music via streaming services. We read a lot, and while we both use electronic readers, we also both prefer to buy a lot of our books in paper form. So, we’ve been a little mixed in our approach to these things, changing our access methods as the technology grows and becomes accessible.

When the sailing bug bit, we had a Flying Scot dinghy for a time, later moving on to a Hobie Getaway beach cat that we’ve sailed for the past few years. In December we became owners of our first (and quite possibly our only) cruising sailboat, in the form of a Ted Brewer-designed Jason 35.

Several nearby state parks offer kayak rentals, but renting requires that we fit into the rental concession’s schedule. When we go bike riding, we like to make a day of it, and enjoy stopping along the trails to have a snack, watch nature, or just relax in a shady spot. We want the same flexibility when kayaking, so we bought. Our kayaks were not inexpensive, but within the first two years of owning them we probably saved what we paid for them in funds that didn’t go to rentals.

Nobody in our area (to our knowledge) offers sailboat rentals, and that’s what led to us buying the aging but capable Flying Scot. The state park dry moorings are inexpensive, and total cost of ownership was low. Our recent move to a cruising sailboat is a big jump in TCO (total cost of ownership), but we expect to make even more use of it than we did of our little beach cat. In a way, it will be to us like a floating summer cabin, where we plan to spend many weekends over the boating season sailing, kayaking, biking, and sometimes just enjoying a good book and a rainstorm from the comfort of the saloon.

Would that be possible if we were renting a boat? Perhaps, but it wouldn’t have the same character. If we were renting a boat, we would feel more obligated to go somewhere on it while we were paying for it, which could lead to making poor decisions with regard to weather. Would we rent it for a weekend that was supposed to be rainy and chilly with little useful wind? Maybe not. That, however, might not even be a choice, as we probably would have had to rent it well in advance to get it for a weekend anyway.

Would rental programs help more people to get on the water in our area? I suppose for the right people. Had there been a rental option in our area when I was first getting started, I might have made use of it before making the decision to buy, but I still think I would prefer to own boats instead of renting them.

In the end, I’m not at all sorry that we’re owners. Like with our home, I look forward to the projects to improve her, make her our own, and keep her up in a condition that I hope will make her builder proud. My wife and I look forward to spending quality time on the Jason 35, enjoying the sailing, the water, and the reading. Some of those goals would not be a consideration if we were renting when we wanted to be out on the water. Ownership isn’t for every sailor, but I think it adds a richness to the experience that is hard to match.

Jonathan Woytek

 

 


CONTINUE READING THIS MONTH’S DOGWATCH

Dick Carter: Yacht Designer in the Golden Age of Offshore Racing

by Dick Carter and John Rousmaniere
(Seapoint Books, 2018; 192 pages; $29.95 print)

Review by Robb Mazza

Over the past several years, the sailing community has been blessed with the publication of several excellent biographies of prominent yacht designers, including those of L. Francis Herreshoff by Roger Taylor, Starling Burgess by Louie Howland, Ray Hunt by Stan Grayson, and GL Watson by Martin Black. However, there have been few autobiographies, other than perhaps Olin Stephens’ excellent All This and Sailing Too. So it is gratifying to read Dick Carter’s first-person-singular narrative of his own remarkable design career during the surge in offshore racing in the 1960s and 70s. Carter says the genesis of this book was his need to dispel the persistent rumor that he died five years ago!

Continue reading

The Accidental Captain: the Hilarious True-Life Adventures Of the Nerd Who Learned To Sail Across the Atlantic – Eventually

by Glenn Patron
(self-published, 2016; 257 pages, soft cover).

Review by Wayne Gagnon

Glen Patron was born, as he says, “on the wrong side of the docks,” and grew up on Great Neck, on Long Island, New York. As a young boy, Glen developed a love for all literature that had anything to do with adventure. In this book, he chronicles his life and some adventures of his own. And he’s had his fair share. He spent his early adult years wandering around Mexico as a (kind of) student who couldn’t, or wouldn’t, live up to his father’s expectations. When he finally settled down enough to work for his father, he started “at the bottom,” as a stock boy, but learned enough about business to eventually take over and revive a failed company in Puerto Rico. But while Glen attained success as a businessman, he also pursued lives as an entertainer in local nightclubs and on TV, as a dirt bike racer, and eventually as a sailor. There’s a lot more to that story. I touched on the highlights only to illustrate the author’s diverse background, one that sets him up for a life worth writing about.

Continue reading

Nautical Vows

Wedding Vows

By Joan Gilmore

Asked to officiate at the wedding of sailing friends in the Caribbean, Captain Gilmore also wrote their vows. . . 

CAPTAIN GILMORE: We are gathered here today before this beautiful sunset and in this community of faithful crewmembers to join in holy matrimony <bride’s name> and <groom’s name>, steadfast sailors and seafaring adventurers.

If anyone knows of any reason that these two should not be joined in marriage, speak now or forever hold your peace.

Continue reading

News from the Helm – February 2019

CONSIDER BUYING USED

Buying new often makes sense. But when you’re in the market for a boat part, take a minute to consider whether that part is likely to be found used at a consignment or surplus store.

I remember each year carpooling down to Minney’s Yacht Surplus in Southern California for their annual parking-lot swap meet. It was an event. We’d wake excited and arrive before sunrise to find hundreds of people already doing business, flashlights in hand.

Recently the owner of Second Wave at the Boatyard, a consignment store in Gig Harbor, Washington, contacted me and reminded me of the greatness of these resources — and they’re everywhere there’s a concentration of boats. Many independent chandlers even dedicate a small part of their store to used boat stuff, usually items on consignment.

The savings are often spectacular for these “experienced” parts. So, when you’re in need of something that’s likely to be available used, take a minute to take a look. Besides, many of these stores look like the artful rendering of the Minney’s store above, the kind of place in which you’re liable to find that exactly perfect thing you weren’t looking for.


A REMINDER FROM THE FOUNDER

When Good Old Boat founder Karen Larson read the reader feedback in the December issue of The Dogwatch, she was reminded of a story we ran in Good Old Boat in July 2013, by Ferman Wardell. In that story, Ferman describes how he designed and built his own bottom-cleaning-from-the-dock device. Here’s a link to that story for The Dogwatch readers: Homemade Bottom Cleaner by Ferman Wardell

Enjoy!


MAGNETIC NORTH AND THE U.S. GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

As most of us are aware, true north and magnetic north aren’t in the same place. And as most of us are also aware, magnetic north is constantly on the move, geographically, subject to the flows of liquid iron in the Earth’s core. And to keep up with calibrations of navigational instruments and mathematical formulas that need to sync with this changing magnetic north, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the British Geological Survey long ago teamed up to develop the World Magnetic Model. They update the model every five years to keep everything accurate. It was last updated in 2015.

However, the speed at which magnetic north is changing has sped up dramatically (nobody really knows why). In the 1950s, it moved about 100 feet per day, about 7 miles per year, but in the 1990s the pace quickened. By 2003, it was moving nearly 500 feet per day, about 34 miles per year. It hasn’t slowed.

Accordingly, the two governments came together a couple of years early to update the model, for the sake of accurate navigation, especially in the latitudes above 50 degrees north. And before they could finalize and release that info, the US government shut down.

But the good news is that the updated model was released February 4, much to the relief of NATO and the US Department of Defense, primary users of the model (along with scientists who study what happens deep beneath our feet, and keels).

For more information, including fascinating stuff we didn’t report here, read the full story on the National Geographic website: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/02/magnetic-north-update-navigation-maps/


HAS IT REALLY COME TO THIS?

Raymarine describes the imperative for its newest product, DockSense, as such:

“Docking a boat can be a stressful experience, even for the most experienced captains. Often wind and tides make the task more difficult, and docking mishaps can become expensive repairs and safety hazards. The DockSense system is designed to augment a captain’s boat handling skills using the system’s Virtual Bumper zone technology around the vessel. Should an object like a piling or another vessel encounter the Virtual Bumper, DockSense automatically introduces corrective steering and throttle commands to avoid the object and assist the captain in guiding the vessel to the dock.”

Raymarine describes their newest product, DockSense, as such:

“DockSense uses global positioning system (GPS) and attitude heading reference system (AHRS) position sensing technology to compensate for the effects of wind and currents, ensuring the vessel enters the dock without drama or costly collisions. The Raymarine DockSense system includes multiple FLIR machine vision cameras, a central processing module, and the DockSense App running on Raymarine’s Axiom navigation display.  The system integrates with modern joystick propulsion systems, providing assisted steering and throttle commands to help captains make a smooth arrival.”

At the risk of sounding like a grouchy old man with the mouth of a teenager: Whatever . . .


WANT TO EARN A GOOD OLD BOAT HAT?

Khaki ball cap with a Blue Denim bill.Do you have a great photo of an aid to navigation? We want to see it. If we print it in the magazine, we’ll send you a Good Old Boat hat or shirt, your choice. And it doesn’t have to be a buoy, but certainly can be. The better the photo, or the more unique the aid or photo, the better your chances. Send your photo to Michael_r@goodoldboat.com


CONTINUE READING THIS MONTH’S DOGWATCH

Mail Buoy – February 2019

IN PRAISE OF THE DIY BOATYARD

Last month I put it to the readers about DIY boatyards. Do you prefer these yards? Are you willing to pay more in lay-day rates to use a DIY yard? Do you have a favorite DIY yard? It wasn’t a very divisive question because everyone seems to love DIY boatyards, and several of you gave a shout-out to your favorite. As an illustration last month, I used the graphic of one of my favorite DIY yards,  Ventura Harbor Boatyard (in Southern California). Reader Wayne Wright had something to say about Ventura Harbor Boatyard, so he gets the first word . . .

Continue reading

A Drop in the Ocean

by Jasna Tuta
(Independently Published, 2018; 192 pages; $12.00 print, $5.99 digital)

Review by Karen Larson

Jasna Tuta and her partner, Rick Page, are self-described sea gypsies, members of the water tribe who cruise the world’s oceans. Their first book, Get Real, Get Gone: How to Become a Modern Sea Gypsy and Sail Away Forever, describes how they adopted the cruising lifestyle, what liveaboard techniques work for them, what you must have, what you can do without, and what to look for when buying a boat for your own cruising adventure. Get Real, Get Gone is a liveaboard how-to book and a good one.

Continue reading

The Impractical Boat Owner

by Dave Selby
(Adlard Coles, 2017; 112 pages, $14.00 print)

Review by Tom Wells

When I started reading this humorous take on boating and boaters, I expected more of the usual, but Dave Selby has a new and refreshing approach to the genre. The description on Amazon says a lot: “It is a book with no practical purpose whatsoever. It won’t make you a better sailor, and it won’t provide any instructions on boat maintenance. But it will entertain: Selby’s light but observational writings tap the rich well of all those things that sailors know but few dare admit.” As he did with the title on the cover, Selby has scrawled additions to headings throughout the book. This device reflects his tone, evidence of his dry and self-deprecating humor. All and all, it makes for a very enjoyable read.

Continue reading

Dogwatch – February 2019

 

Dogwatch Good Old Boat's Digital SupplementDogwatch (n): For sailors, either of the 2-hour watch periods between 1600 and 2000;
For journalists, the period after going to press when staff stand by in case breaking news warrants a late edition.
Volume 2, No. 4


Nautical Vows

Wedding Vows

Asked to officiate at the wedding of sailing friends in the Caribbean, Captain Gilmore also wrote their vows…
CAPTAIN GILMORE: We are gathered here today before this beautiful sunset and in this community of faithful crewmembers to join in holy matrimony <bride’s name> and <groom’s name>, steadfast sailors and seafaring adventurers.
If anyone knows of any reason that these two should not be joined in marriage, speak now or forever hold your peace.
Without further ado and before either of the parties can come to their senses, we will proceed with this holy and everlasting sacrament.
Continue Reading


News from the Helm Mail Buoy

News from the Helm

Consider buying used, a DIY bottom-cleaning tool, magnetic north and the US government shutdown, Raymarine goes over the top. Continue reading …

Mail Buoy

In praise of the DIY boatyard, readers weigh in on the benefits of the DIY yard and tell us about their favorites.
Continue reading


Seaworthy Goods Holiday Specials on Good Old Boat gear

Put it to the Readers

winter cover

By Michael Robertson

We’re told that Millennials don’t buy stuff, they rent. Instead of a Ford in the garage, they keep an Uber app on their smartphone. Instead of a shelf lined with CDs, they pay a monthly fee to stream the music they want to listen to. Will it be the same with boats?

For those of us who take pride and pleasure in maintaining and improving and messing about in boats we own, it’s a foreign concept. But for those of us who have ever figured out the sobering cost-per-hour-used figure for the boat we own, maybe there is something to renting.

Boatsetter.com is a worldwide, peer-to-peer boat-sharing site that reminds us of Airbnb. There are smaller regional sites that operate the same way, and membership-based companies exist that own and maintain fleets of boats for members to use on a cost-per-hour basis. In other words, there are lots of ways to get out on the water under sail without owning a boat.

And so I put it to the readers: Have you used one of these avenues to get out on the water? Has it, or will it, replace boat ownership for you? Or do you place a high value on walking down the dock to your boat, a nautical refuge all your own? Do you think the future will look very different in this regard, with boat ownership becoming less common? Or will ownership rates be unaffected, but more people will find a way out onto the water via peer-to-peer boat sharing?

As always, I’m at michael_r@goodoldboat.com


Book Reviews

A Drop in the OceanClick the book title for our reviews of the following books:
A Drop in the Ocean
by Jasna Tuta
(Independently Published, 2018; 192 pages;
$12.00 print, $5.99 digital)
Review by Karen LarsonThe Impractical Boat Owner
by Dave Selby
(Adlard Coles, 2017; 112 pages,
$14.00 print)
Review by Tom Wells

Poem of the Month

Terns for the Verse

Fun to watch them fly and frolic
stunts and airs and high-speed swoops,
but oh it renders me melancholic
to see my boat all covered in poops.
I hung up foils and owls and snakes
stood on the deck and waved my arms.
I thought I’d done all that it takes
everything but install alarms.
And yet each day I sadly view
Tern poops, tern poops, anew,
Tern poops, tern poops…residue.

Richard Green, Pacific Northwest sailor and owner (and part builder) of countless sailboats over his lifetime, including the pictured Jay Benford-designed 22-foot sloop he launched in 1980 after machining all the bronze fittings himself.

Have you written a sailing poem (or haiku or bawdy limerick) you want to share with Dogwatch readers? Send it to Michael_r@goodoldboat.com and it might wind up here.

MR


Sailor of the Month

Sailor of the Month - Avery

Five-year-old Ethan is our Dogwatch Sailor of the Month. Seconds before Ethan’s grandparent snapped this shot, Ethan was asked if he knew where he was going. This day was Ethan’s first time at the helm of Canigo Too, a 1982 Catalina 30.

–MR

 

 

Magnetic North: Sea Voyage to Svalbard

Magnetic North: Sea Voyage to Svalbard, by Jenna Butler

by Jenna Butler
(The University of Alberta Press, 2018; 120 pages, $19.95 print, $18.95 digital)

Review by Wendy Mitman Clarke

“I feel my body gone glass, emptying and refilling with Arctic swell. Darkness and safety a trick of the mind, as distant as the long, light fields of home.”

So writes Jenna Butler in Magnetic North: Sea Voyage to Svalbard, a collection of prose poems that reads like a hybrid memoir of short essay and prose poem describing her two-week journey as a writer-in-residence aboard the ice-class barquentine Antigua with Arctic Circle Expeditions. Each year, the organization invites a small group of scientists and artists to travel through the waters and fjords of Svalbard, an Arctic archipelago within 10 degrees latitude of the North Pole.

Continue reading

A Dream of Steam

A Dream of Steam by James W. Barryby James W. Barry
(Aloft Publishing, 2018; 326 pages; $14.95 print, $4.95 digital)

Review by Karen Larson

Great Lakes sailor James Barry was inspired to write his first historical fiction novel by a true story he discovered while sailing among the islands of Lake Huron’s North Channel. The short version, as he tells it, was that of, “the Moiles brothers who, in 1889, executed the heist of their own sawmill to save it from being taken by creditors.”

Continue reading

Mail Buoy – January 2019

DRONE LEGALITY

You asked about reader experience with drones (“Put It to the Readers,” The Dogwatch, September 2018). I can say that launching a drone from a boat under sail is not easy, because of wind variations and the rigging. Doing so is possible with one of the more powerful machines, but these units are costly, and the likelihood of losing it when attempting to land on the boat under sail, is high. As a newbie drone operator, I wouldn’t risk losing a $700 machine for a few good shots or a video. Also, drone regulations are also very restrictive for commercial purposes. For example, I cannot sell you pictures I have taken from aboard Britannia because I don’t have a commercial drone license. I don’t think I could even employ a commercial pilot, buy the photos they took legally, and then legally re-sell the pictures to you.

–Roger Hughes, Good Old Boat contributor

Hi Roger, thanks for your thoughts on drones. You prompted us to do some research and here’s what we learned. Commercial drone (or small unmanned aircraft system, or sUAS) use is governed by the FAA and all rules and regulations (there are surprisingly few) are covered by the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) part 107. These are straightforward. Part 107 mandates that commercial operators have a license, but getting a license is as easy as passing a written exam at one of the more than 700 testing centers in the US and paying a $150 fee. That’s it, then you’re a commercial drone pilot. That said, we at Good Old Boat are of the untested, unqualified legal opinion that if you were to take a stellar photo as a recreational (non-commercial) drone operator and then sell it to Good Old Boat or another magazine, you would not be in violation of any law (and regardless, we can’t imagine there are drone police checking to be sure that published drone photos were taken by commercial operators). We think the real problem would arise were you stopped while flying and authorities determined that you were flying for commercial purposes without a license. Regarding your concern that you couldn’t employ a commercial pilot to take photos that you buy and then resell, we can’t imagine there is any regulation prohibiting that. –Eds

THE FALLS OF CLYDE KUDOS

Great article on news of the ship The Falls of Clyde (“Fall and Rise of The Falls Of Clyde,” The Dogwatch, December 2018)! For those interested, there are six black-and-white photos of this ship in the book, Pacific Square Riggers: Pictorial History of the Great Windships of Yesteryear (1969, Bonanza Books), by Jim Gibbs. Unfortunately, each photo is relatively small, about 3×4 inches. But they are all of The Falls of Clyde as she was, including images of sailors aboard, the ship under sail, one of her main saloon, one of her in dry dock, a sad one of her sans masts and in use as a petroleum barge in Alaska, and one of her in 1959 in Seattle awaiting tow to Honolulu. The book also includes some copy about the ship.

I always enjoy my issues of Good Old Boat! Keep up the great work!

–John B. (Jack) Severinghaus, Com-Pac 23, Spokane, Washington

 

FINAL WORD FROM CANADA

I just read Canadian George Kuipers’ letter to the editor, regarding the trade dispute between Canada and the U.S. (“Good Old Trade-Trouble Fallout,” November 2018). Although I, too, am bewildered and frustrated that friends and allies like Canada are treated worse than North Korea by the president, I believe that the ordinary citizens of both countries are still friends. Good Old Boat is certainly my friend on board during the summertime as well as on the hard during the winter months. What goes on now in small politics will pass and Good Old Boat will continue. For that, I will renew.

–Claudette Paquin, Penetanguishene, Georgian Bay, Ontario

THOREAU NEVER SAILED SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Last month we put a question to readers who live in places where weather and frozen water restricts sailing to a seasonal affair. Do you envy the Southern California sailors who can go for a Christmas Day sail most years, or do you pity those who lack the seasons to frame and define their sailing experience? Here is what some of you had to say, starting with Fred Mulligan, who thoughtfully brought Henry David Thoreau into the discussion…

Continue reading

News from the Helm – January 2019

Good Old Boat Boat ReviewWANT TO BE A GOOD OLD BOAT BOAT REVIEWER?

Are you familiar with the comprehensive boat review we feature at the start of each issue of Good Old Boat magazine? We have a small team of marine freelance writers who draft those for us, and we’re looking to make that small team a little larger. Specifically, we’re looking for an eager reviewer (or two) who lives in coastal California, between San Diego and Pt. Conception (and we will consider the right reviewer further north).

The perfect candidate is a Good Old Boat reader, capable writer and photographer, and sailor. Our reviewers usually review one or two boats per year, so this is a very low-demand gig.

For more information, please contact Michael_r@goodoldboat.com

 


THE LARRY PARDEY OBSERVATORY

 Lin Pardey just released a tribute edition of the classic Cruising in Seraffyn and she is donating 100 percent of the profits to support the Larry Pardey Observatory.

The Larry Pardey Observatory?

Shortly before Larry moved to a care facility near the New Zealand home he built and shared with Lin, Kenny Thorall came to visit. Fifty years previously (and a year before Lin came on the scene), Larry and Ken had formed a team, delivering boats together and repairing them. Now Ken, who had gone on to become a bush pilot in Alaska, wanted to do something to memorialize the man who was, in his words, “the best friend any one could have and an amazing sailor.” He donated the funds to create an observatory at Camp Bentzon On Kawau Island, New Zealand, after learning that it would give almost 5,000 youngsters a year a chance to see the stars that led him and Larry across oceans together. A year ago, the Larry Pardey Observatory was completed and outfitted with four telescopes plus 15 sets of special high-powered stargazing binoculars. Since then, more than 100 children each week have had their first chance to explore the night sky, far from the light pollution of the big city.

This tribute edition is updated to include a new introduction, updated guidelines to breaking away on your own adventure, and 16 pages of color photos. The appendices have been updated to include information on what cruising costs today, details of what worked best on Seraffyn, what could have been better, plus the history of this famous little ship. Click here to order: https://amzn.to/2BQJThg or visit www.landlpardey.com


WANT TO BE A GOOD OLD BOAT MAGAZINE COVER PHOTOGRAPHER?

Good Old Boat cover shots have long come from Good Old Boat readers. Think you have a photo we’ll want to buy for our cover? Send it to Michael_r@goodoldboat.com — but first consider the following basic guidelines:

  1. The photo should be a high-resolution image. At a very minimum, this is 300 dpi at about 8×10 inches. In terms of file size, you’re looking at something at least 2MB, but 15MB is better (and feel free to send small, low-res copies of photos you want us to first consider).
  2. The photo doesn’t have to be in portrait orientation, but the portion we’ll use for the cover should be (and the file should be large enough to allow us to crop it while still allowing for 300 dpi at cover size).
  3. Think about composition. The photo should have space up top for us to put the Good Old Boat title, but without covering up something important in the photo.
  4. Is the photo interesting? People, action, and lighting all can serve to make an interesting, unusual cover shot. We like great shots of boats at anchor, but we get a lot of those, so competition for those photos is stiffer. Consider sending us a shot unlike you’ve seen on our covers — a boatyard maybe?
  5. Have fun!

E15 INVASION

Here’s the first sentence from a BoatUS press release dated December 5, 2018: “President Trump has officially moved to allow E15 (15 percent ethanol) gasoline sales year-round – a fuel prohibited for use in recreational boats and a decision that recreational boating groups say will needlessly put 142 million American boaters at risk.” Read the full press release here: https://www.boatus.com/pressroom/release.asp?id=1455


 

WANT TO EARN A GOOD OLD BOAT HAT?

Do you have a great photo of an aid to navigation? We want to see it. If we print it in the magazine, we’ll send you a Good Old Boat hat or shirt, your choice. And it doesn’t have to be a buoy, but certainly can be. The better the photo, or the more unique the aid or photo, the better your chances. Send what you have to Michael_r@goodoldboat.com

Good Old Boat Magazine - News Flash!

Our website is getting some long overdue improvements! Audioseastories.com will soon be merged with our Goodoldboat.com website.

Thanks for your patience, more to come!

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